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« WHO throws its weight behind plain packaging | Main | ASH "delighted" by WHO award for public health minister »

Silly awards season

Shhhh .... is that the sound of tumbleweed I hear?

The announcement that public health minister Jane Ellison has been awarded a medal by the World Health Organisation ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday hasn't impressed news editors in the UK.

To date there has been zero coverage of this earth-shattering 'news', despite the best efforts of ASH and Cancer Research UK who both issued cringe-inducing press releases on Friday.

It makes you wonder why they bothered issuing statements but perhaps the mainstream media wasn't their intended target.

As I noted here, ASH CEO Deborah Arnott was effusive in her praise for Ellison whose department currently gives ASH £150k a year:

“Despite relentless tobacco industry lobbying the Public Health Minister made sure that the government proceeded with the introduction of standardised ‘plain’ packaging of cigarettes.

Her commitment to tackling the harm caused by tobacco is unquestionable and we are delighted that her work has been recognised by the World Health Organisation.”

CRUK added its own commendation, revealing in the process that it was they who nominated Ellison for the award. According to Chief executive Sir Harpal Kumar:

“Plain, standardised packaging to protect children from tobacco marketing is a monumental victory for public health and this international recognition from the World Health Organisation is well deserved.

Cancer Research UK nominated Jane Ellison for her personal determination and spirit in fighting the vested interests of the tobacco industry and making the UK the second country in the world to introduce this legislation which will save thousands of lives.

We look forward to other countries following suit and future generations being spared the devastation caused by tobacco.”

You can read the full list of award winners here – World No Tobacco Day Awards 2016.

They include Professors Mike Daube and Melanie Wakefield.

Daube is a mate of the infamous Simon Chapman. Like Chapman he's been vocal in praising the outcome of plain packaging in Australia.

A couple of years ago I was interviewed with him on a radio programme. I was standing on a railway platform and at the exact moment he started speaking an express train roared through the station.

I didn't hear a word he said, which was probably just as well.

Melanie Wakefield is another Australian notable for her work in tobacco control. I've written about her before here.

Previous award winners are listed here.

In recent years they've included Dr James Reilly, minister of health, Ireland who I have written about several times, including here.

Other award winners include Alisa (Ailsa) Rutter, director of FRESH/Smokefree North East (UK) and our old friend Stephen Williams, the former Lib Dem MP for Bristol West who helped launch the Plain Packs Protect campaign.

Cancer Research UK was acknowledged in 2012 with an award to Jean King, director of Tobacco Control at CRUK.

In 2011, to mark the group's 40th anniversary, the work of ASH was also recognised and in a touching ceremony a WHO award was presented to Deborah Arnott by the then public health minister Anne Milton (see I think I'm going to be sick).

That year there were also awards for the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention
and Smoke Free Partnership. But more of them tomorrow.

Meanwhile, on the subject of awards, let's not forget that it's only 14 months since the Department of Health's tobacco control team received an award for 'Exemplary Leadership by a Government Ministry'.

As I reported here the 2015 Luther L Terry Awards were presented by the American Cancer Society at a ceremony on March 19 in Abu Dhabi at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health.

More pertinently public health minister Jane Ellison tweeted:

And who should be included in that celebratory tweet? Why, none other than Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH!

It's a small, small world.

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Reader Comments (6)

I wrote about plain packaging and smoker persecution and was ignored by Ellison many times. I suppose this child smoker, now a healthy granny smoker fed up at being constantly socially excluded and abused for no other reason than I haven't quit in 49 years and I'm not ill nor dead, is what t...s.. like Debs say is "Relentless tobacco industry lobbying." She is a compulsive and nasty little vested interest liar who deliberately misleads Govt and media.

Ellison did not ignore Big Baaaad Tobacco lobbyists - she ignored the little man and woman in the street both smoker and non smoker who know that their children are less protected from starting to smoke now thanks to ASH policy that creates and supports the criminal black market which removes all good protection to date in preventing sales to children. Thanks to PP there will be a new generation of child smoker not seen since my generation of child smoker in the 1960s.,

But then Debs needs child smokers as much as Big Tobacco to ensure her fat salary keeps rolling in and a new generation of smoker is created to pay her future pension. She only needs a useful idiot - and that is why Ellison has been awarded - the Gullible Idiot of the Year Award.

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 15:27 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Yes, lots of mutual back-slapping in the closed world of Tobacco Control.

Maybe we should start giving each other awards for things like 'Exposing TC lies', and 'Best smoker's support group'. You could get in touch with your contacts in the MSM, Simon, and let them know when the awards are to be handed out, and who the beneficiaries are.

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 15:57 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

Re 'our' awards, watch this space!

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 17:27 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Oooh, intriguing, Simon. Do tell. Go on. You know you want to ...

But either way, I’d like to nominate Pat N for an award of whatever type, if for no other reason than for this wonderful description: “ ... a compulsive and nasty little vested interest liar ...” which, incidentally, Pat, I now intend to steal shamelessly and use liberally at every opportunity, it’s so good!

Love it. Thanks, Pat!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 23:05 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

Awww - and there was me thinking I'd get nominated for the use of the word t..g most in one post ;)

Monday, May 30, 2016 at 14:13 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I thought that it was now illegal to fund lobby groups like ASH ?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 11:27 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

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